Slave theater in the Roman Republic : Plautus and popular comedy / Amy Richlin.  (Text) (Text)

Richlin, Amy, 1951-
Call no.: PA6073 .R53 2017Publication: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2017Description: xvi, 563 pISBN: 9781107152311 (hbk.); 1107152313 (hbk.)Subject(s): Plautus, Titus Maccius -- Criticism and interpretationTheater -- Rome -- HistoryLatin drama (Comedy) -- History and criticismActors -- RomeTheater and society -- Rome -- HistorySlavery -- Rome -- Social conditionsCivilization, ClassicalLOC classification: PA6073 | .R53 2017
Contents:History and theory -- Part I. What Was Given -- The body at the bottom -- Singing for your supper -- Part II. What Was Desired -- Getting even -- Looking like a slave-woman -- Telling without saying -- Remembering the way back -- Escape -- Conclusions : from stage to rebellion.
Summary: "Roman comedy evolved early in the war-torn 200s BCE. Troupes of lower-class and slave actors traveled through a militarized landscape full of displaced persons and the newly enslaved; together, the actors made comedy to address mixed-class, hybrid, multilingual audiences. Surveying the whole of the Plautine corpus, where slaves are central figures, and the extant fragments of early comedy, this book is grounded in the history of slavery and integrates theories of resistant speech, humor, and performance. Part I shows how actors joked about what people feared - natal alienation, beatings, sexual abuse, hard labor, hunger, poverty - and how street-theater forms confronted debt, violence, and war loss. Part II catalogues the onstage expression of what people desired: revenge, honor, free will, legal personhood, family, marriage, sex, food, free speech; a way home, through memory; and manumission, or escape - all complicated by the actors' maleness. Comedy starts with anger"--
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

History and theory -- Part I. What Was Given -- The body at the bottom -- Singing for your supper -- Part II. What Was Desired -- Getting even -- Looking like a slave-woman -- Telling without saying -- Remembering the way back -- Escape -- Conclusions : from stage to rebellion.

"Roman comedy evolved early in the war-torn 200s BCE. Troupes of lower-class and slave actors traveled through a militarized landscape full of displaced persons and the newly enslaved; together, the actors made comedy to address mixed-class, hybrid, multilingual audiences. Surveying the whole of the Plautine corpus, where slaves are central figures, and the extant fragments of early comedy, this book is grounded in the history of slavery and integrates theories of resistant speech, humor, and performance. Part I shows how actors joked about what people feared - natal alienation, beatings, sexual abuse, hard labor, hunger, poverty - and how street-theater forms confronted debt, violence, and war loss. Part II catalogues the onstage expression of what people desired: revenge, honor, free will, legal personhood, family, marriage, sex, food, free speech; a way home, through memory; and manumission, or escape - all complicated by the actors' maleness. Comedy starts with anger"--

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